The CavePosted by Craig Knebel
So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence when you know the maker’s heart- Mumford and Sons The Cave c 2012
What better way to tie up a year of Earth Science and craft a bonding and resilience trip than a caving expedition.
The 6th grade travelled to Clarksville Cave near Albany, NY and Boyd Thacher state park to explore plate tectonics, sedimentary rocks, erosion and caving. Why Albany? 400 million years ago the drifting North American plate slammed into a volcanic arc of islands and a new continental edge formed east of the Hudson River. This new edge was swamped with ocean water forming a nearly cutoff inland sea in the Devonian period around Albany. This underwater time lead to the formation of ancient seabeds which in turn, form the basis of our limestone explorations.
Springtime at the Birdcraft MuseumPosted by Mary Faulkner
It was early morning on one of the first beautiful days of spring and a wonderful time for the fifth grade students’ field experience to the Birdcraft Museum in Fairfield. Each year prior to this experience, I tell the students we are going to see how birds are banded and find out the many reasons why birds are banded in the first place. And each year this announcement is met with little enthusiasm, not knowing what to expect, but as is usually the case, this changed very quickly when we arrived at the center. The volunteer banders explained that this is usually a very busy time of year for them. Birds from as far as Arctic tundras and southernmost parts of South America, view this grassy area in the midst of a concrete jungle and seek refuge. The students had the opportunity to observe different bird species being banded; a robin with a pronounced brood patch, two cat birds, one already banded, an American Redstart and the shy and somewhat elusive Yellow Rumped Warbler and the Red Eyed Vireo! The creatures were banded, weighed and checked to see how old they might be, among other things. They had so many questions and answered just as many! After we watched these birds banded and released by students, we walked the picturesque grounds of the center making observations using binoculars, of other birds and reptiles. We also were shown the nets that are hung between trees where the birds are caught for banding. During our short hike we observed turtles, a pair of mallards and a goose sitting on her nest of eggs. It was a great day and a wonderful opportunity for the students to get an up close view of these creatures!
Learning by Visiting SpainPosted by Craig Knebel
Our educational philosophy is simple: the best way to help students gain new perspectives and build skills for the future is through experiential learning. Thirty current and two former Unquowa students traveled to Barcelona, Spain for spring break 2017. Along with Mr Knebel, Mrs. Leidlein, Mrs. Sylvestro, Mrs. Ponden and Mr. Werner the students walked, tasted, danced and observed the cultural heritage and history of Spain. Over ten days the students visited Barcelona, the international heart of Spain, Madrid the regal capital, Toledo with its vast history, Cordoba with Moorish, Jewish and Christian influences, Seville the cultural center of Andalusia, and back to Madrid.
Journey to the Center of ConnecticutPosted by Craig Knebel
This is no Jules Verne fictional tale. Unquowa’s sixth grade class descended forty feet into the earth to examine a Karst, or water solutions formed, cavern. Inside the cave the students learned about the erosive effect of water on even hard rock like marble. Students learned the history of the cave and explored its lower recesses on hands and knees. Outside, they learned about mankind’s development of primitive tools from rocks, and made their own rock necklaces.
How Did Your Friday Go?Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
Seventh and eighth grade students opened the school year with a whitewater rafting trip down Deerfield River in Massachusetts. Learning to work together to steer a raft through class II and III rapids requires focusing on each other so everyone rows at the right time to keep the raft on course. Led by guides, the students had the opportunity to really learn what it meant to work as a team. This was a terrific trip that helped us begin the school year on a high note! We look forward to building on the trip’s success in the coming weeks and months!
Meeting Cultures and Creatures in Costa RicaPosted by Craig Knebel
Mr. Knebel and Ms. Tortora led 15 intrepid souls on a nine day sweeping dash through Costa Rica’s towns, forests, beaches and mountains. Students explored rain and cloud forests, black sand Pacific beaches, volcanoes and waterways. We met tree sloths, howler monkeys, crocodiles, macaws, iguanas, and millions of termites which one student sampled. The people were gracious, generous and happy to have visitors especially the students we met at a local school and foster home for children. We visited a coffee and chocolate plantation as well as an ornamental wood crafting working museum. We had a wonderful guide and a busy schedule of ziplining, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking to waterfalls, river boating, swimming and relaxing in volcanic generated hot springs. Even the most apprehensive students began to enjoy conversing in Spanish with the locals as a result of this amazing trip. Muchos gracias Profie and Pavie. PURA VIDA!